While Harry claims to rain federal funds on Nevada, it’s more like very light dew

Back in 2009 Harry Reid made a big deal out of Nevada getting PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) funding. It was manna from heaven. Free money just lying on the ground to be picked up.

Reid boasted that he himself personally had “forced” the Congress to fully fund PILT through 2012, because the federal government “owns” more than 87 percent of Nevada’s land — the highest percentage of any state — making that land non-taxable.

A couple of days ago Rep. Shelley Berkley reported on her website that Nevada is getting $23.9 million in PILT money this year.

“This $23.9 million comes at a time when counties and cities in our State are struggling to find funding to cover vital needs and to serve the families and businesses who call Nevada’s communities home.  I am proud of my long record of support for PILT funding to aid Nevada which has a higher percentage of land under federal control than any other State,” Berkley was quoted as saying.

Well, isn’t that special.

But I always like to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Look a gift horse in the mouth

Everything is relative. All things look different in perspective. Not that anyone in the news media would bother to pull up the calculator on their laptop computers and, well, do the math.

Since the federal government is lord, master and royal gamekeeper over approximately 60 million acres of land in Nevada, PILT works out to roughly 40 cents an acre. Since the market value of that land is difficult to estimate, it would be hard to calculate what that acreage could fetch in property taxes were it in private hands.

The payments to the counties vary wildly. For example, Esmeralda County is paid only 6 cents an acre while Douglas County fetches $2.50 per acre. On a population basis, Esmeralda is getting nearly $65 per capita compared to $13 for Douglas. While Clark gets 70 cents per acre, that amounts to only $1.60 per head.

Other examples: Eureka, 15 cents per acre and $165 per capita; White Pine, 22 cents/acre and nearly $116/capita; Mineral, 33 cents/acre and $138/capita; Carson City, $2/acre and $2/capita.

But that is just the internal disparities and merely for amusement. The real perspective is when you look at how that $23.9 million counts in the grand scheme of tax equity and state-by-state fairness.

You see that PILT money amounts to about $8.88 per Nevadan — man, woman and child as they like to say. But the average Nevada federal tax burden amounts to about $9,000 per capita. According to the Tax Foundation, Nevada receives only $5,889 in federal allotments, the lowest in the nation, and at 65 cents returned for every dollar sent to D.C., the second lowest ratio in the nation, behind only New Jersey.

Thank you, great and powerful senate majority leader who makes it rain manna from the federal larder, well maybe a light dew.

As for that $8.88 per head PILT check, compare that  to Utah’s $13, New Mexico’s $17, Idaho’s $17, Montana’s $26 and Alaska’s $38. Let’s see, Washington robs you of $9,000 at gunpoint and then expects you to be grateful when they hand you a check for $9.

48 comments on “While Harry claims to rain federal funds on Nevada, it’s more like very light dew

  1. nyp10025 says:

    1. I am pleased to see that Mr. Mitchell advocates greater amounts of federal spending — at least, when it comes to Nevada.
    2. Can’t figure out why Nevada is an outlier, but in general the richer states subsidize the poorer states. That is a good thing. It is part of the reason why the common currency area popularly known as “The United States of America” operates much more effectively, particularly during an economic crisis, than the competing currency area known as the “European Union.”

  2. I advocated no such thing, merely pointed out the inequality and absurdity of it.


  3. nyp10025 says:

    I agree with Mr. Mitchell about the inequality and absurdity of the PILT payments. It is an absolute outrage that Nevada receives a nickle from taxpayers in other states for these bogus “in lieu of tax” payments on land that Nevada doesn’t own.

  4. But it should own it and not pay royalties to the other states for minerals on that land.


  5. nyp10025 says:

    You guys want the land we citizens of the United States have owned for 150 years? Send your best and final offer in a certified mail envelope to Ken Salazar, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.

  6. Vernon Clayson says:

    Wow, 23.9 million dollars to be divided up among the counties and cities of our state and Shelly Berkley believes we should be impressed?? The total figure would hardly make a dent in the budget of any individual county or city, maybe the other cities and counties should give up their pittance in favor of helping North Las Vegas stay afloat. It might sound like a lot of money to Harry Reid’s hermit neighbors in Searchlight but he allotted more money to so-called green energy businesses – feel free to repeat my earlier comment, “Windfalls for windmills”. And how much money did Shelly Berkley direct towards her husband’s business, was it more or less than this 23.9 million? The argument that richer states subsidize poorer states is a bit of a stretch when California borders Nevada, it’s richer yet drowning in debt so we can’t look for them to subsidize us. We can’t look for subsidies from Arizona, Eric Holder and the Justice Department has declared war on Arizona so they need every dime they can scrape up.

  7. Athos says:

    petey, you’re so clever. Your handlers must be really proud of you!

    Your article on hypocrisy (featuring President Ø) can always be applied to Harry THE CROOK! Harry PILT CROOK! $24 million, Harry? I’m sure THE CROOK got more than that amount from the Chinese manufacturing plant A-Power, didn’t he?

    Of course, that money belongs to Harry THE CROOK. His position as powerful leader of the Senate (for the last 5 years) entitles him to steal it!

  8. Nyp says:

    I wrote an article on hypocrisy?

  9. the taking was unconstitutional and under duress.

  10. Nyp says:

    There was no “taking,” for you guys never owned it. However, feel free to file a lawsuit.

  11. We voted on it 1996 but Sandoval never filed the suit.


  12. Steve says:

    That’s funny, nyp actually thinks he gets to decide who “owns” public lands. The feds control them, with the constitution of Nevada allowing it. These lands cannot be “purchased” from the federal government. They can only be ceded to the states. The truth is these lands should be ceded to the states and the sooner the better. The trades in recent years resulted in a balance, nothing was ceded.

    Its disgusting what the connotation of Golden Rain from Washington is. But it is exactly what they are doing to us, even you nyp. No matter the state of your residence.

  13. Vernon Clayson says:

    “Golden rain” sounds a little like the golden shower that used to rain down on the swells from the balcony where the undesirable fans had to sit at bullfights in old Mexico, the undesirable were the more native of Mexico’s citizens. I’m not insinuating that the so-called illegal immigrants that “I, Obama” is courting are undesirable, personally I think their work ethic outstrips many American citizens. I also believe they would survive and prosper here without the help of pandering do-gooder government and I also believe they are less likely to allow themselves to be entrapped in the welfare society than many other so-called minorities. I went a little off subject but that golden rain piqued an old memory. Back to nyp and his “taking” comment, who owned the land before the feds took it? Okay, ownership wasn’t a concept of the previous inhabitants but they lived on it for centuries on centuries before the feds set up borders to serve political interests that matter to this day. What’s more, populations have fluctuated over the planet since earliest time, what’s happening now is more of the same, I can’t get excited about it.

  14. Athos says:

    Tom, keep peering behind the curtain. Just a simple math problem, for a country that spends 10 billion $$$ a day! (Where’d I put that sales receipt? I wanna refund!)

    I advocate a return to our Founding Fathers’ intent of smaller federal government. Man is not meant to wield this much power, it must be apportioned.

  15. Athos says:

    And Vernon, I agree with you about illegals. I don’t have as big a problem with the ones that are here to work (and assimilate). But NO WELFARE (including health care).

  16. nyp10025 says:

    So when the child of some guy from Honduras who working 12 hours a day in the sun and is learning English, gets sick and needs intensive care, you wouldn’t give it to him?

  17. Athos says:

    No petey. That’s for YOU to do (with your own money, not the collectives).

  18. Athos says:

    You’re not so heartless as to turn your back on this child’s suffering, are you, petey? Give up some of that Wall Street money you have, and take care of this man!

  19. nyp10025 says:

    can’t rely on individual acts of charity to solve collective social problems. If the child of a born-n-bred US citizen needed emergency surgery you would not say that the only recourse was for some rich guy to volunteer to pay for it all himself.

    In fact, when you, Athos, had major medical problems and didn’t have any health insurance, no one told you that you would only get treatment if some rich dude agreed to pay for you as an act of charity. Instead, you decided to spread the charity onto the backs of the collective, by going through Chapter 11 redistribution procedures.

  20. Steve says:

    Wait! We cannot rely on private collectivism? Damn! I thought the NFL was doing so well! Nyp just blew out all those libby arguments that the NFL is an example of sucessful collectivism. The NFL, which contributes to other private organizations known to be charitable, is a private organization and does not force me to be a part of it, that is the diff.

  21. nyp10025 says:

    That makes no sense whatsoever.

  22. Athos says:

    And as for the last 2,000 years, there’s always Catholic Charities, petey. Just put a little more in the collection plate next Sunday. God is infinite. The Federal government is running out of other peoples money.

  23. nyp10025 says:

    Catholic Charities didn’t do the job for you, Athos.

  24. Vernon Clayson says:

    Collective this!!!, most inhabitants of once free America thought of themselves as individuals, and many still do. Insurance evolved because medical services charge exorbitant/inflated prices within local, state and federal developed laws, rules and regulation, and want their money all but instantly. Medicare and other insurances don’t pay the full expense of medical services, providers accept what they will pay and patients pay government mandated co-pays, how about a person without insurance being charged what insurance would pay and credit terms are arranged? Realtors sell homes and automobile dealers sell cars to illegals and they get paid, who is to say that these undocumented but hard working people wouldn’t pay a medical debt? Federal laws, rules and regulations burden states, states burden counties and counties burden cities and towns, cities and towns burden their citizens, wait, all of those levels of government burden the working citizens, it’s not a collective, it’s a wheel, and the wheel goes around and around.

  25. Athos says:

    I’m not Catholic, petey. So I used the law of the land (bankruptcy) which is still far superior than your Collectivist solution, wouldn’t you agree?

  26. nyp10025 says:

    Vernon Clayson believes that America is not a free country. I disagree.

  27. Athos says:

    You are a disagreeable fellow, petey.

    Tom, can’t we get a better class of liberal troll? I know their views are vacuous, but do we have to put up with junior high infantile snark?

  28. Steve says:

    Nyp forgot the NFL was a big libby example of an organization that shares revenues making it a collectivist organization. At least that was the libby argument anyway. But since it no longer supports a libby purpose nyp decides to forget about it.

  29. Nyp says:

    1. The bankruptcy law is certainly “collectivist”.
    2. I have no idea what the NFL has to do with anything.

  30. Steve says:

    OK nyp maybe Daily Kos will remind you.


    Talk about selective memory. 😐

  31. Steve says:

    But then you are probably not to happy with the NFL example because it fell pretty flat.


    Sheesh. 😐

  32. Nyp says:

    And your point is?

  33. Steve says:

    Nice you drag it out so as you can try to hide from your post that started it.


    Gotta love the internet. Specially those if/then goto commands.

  34. Nyp says:

    Someone help me out here -what is this fellow trying to say? What is his point?

  35. Steve says:

    Someone want to clarify it for nyp?

    Nyps’ words “can’t rely on individual acts of charity to solve collective social problems.”

    My words “The NFL, which contributes to other private organizations known to be charitable, is a private organization and does not force me to be a part of it, that is the diff.”

    Libby mind is not able to see.

  36. Nyp says:

    So because NFL owners share TV revenue we don’t need Medicare?

  37. Steve says:

    Now you take it all the way to another extreme and way over to left field too. Man you just cannot accept your argument was improper and wrong.

    I would phase out those federal programs while encouraging (Not forcing) the states to step in alongside currently effective private organizations.

    The NFL is one among many that quietly help through donations to lots of good causes. Not forced, they do it willingly. I chose them as one example because previous libby arguments based on the NFL fell flat back in January. You just proved I chose well. 🙂

  38. Vernon Clayson says:

    Honduran with a sick child, NYP drags up a pity party, Medicare and Medicaid were LBJ’s baby step towards single payer socialized medicine. Medicare covers those over 65 but it isn’t quite free, the cost is taken from the individual’s Social Security benefit. Medicaid covers those younger than that have no means to pay, or profess to have no means to pay, nyp uses a Honduran working in the sun as an example, and, gasp, has a sick child. (“Child”, “children”, is a throwback to Hillary Clinton’s phony message.) I’m old and covered by Medicare, I hate the word “collective”, but I’m part of that collective. I have good doctors and good medical care but that care is guided by bureaucrats and their dictates and financial limitations from far off Washington DC. The so-called Obamacare will make Medicare, in all its facets, look like a trifle in comparison to the O-care collective’s dictates and financial limitations. All or some parts of O-care will be foisted on us regardless of any Supreme Court decision as they have no enforcement powers and the Congress has already given their blessing.

  39. nyp10025 says:

    “steve”: so you think that the National Football League and private charities can replace Medicare. And SSI for disabled children and adults. And Pell Grants. And Medicaid. “Over time.”
    I think that is ludicrous.

  40. nyp10025 says:

    to “Vernon Clayson” – pleased to see you are enjoying the socialized medical financing system known as “Medicare.” It is much more popular (and cost effecient) than the system available to younger Americans. If some doctor tells you that you can’t have a medical procedure because a bureaucrat in Washington has told you that you aren’t worth it, please let us know!
    In the meantime, I’m sure you oppose efforts to replace the system you are now enjoying with a private voucher system that would give you an insurance premium voucher every year set at some rate below the actual rate of growth of medical prices.

    Oh, and as far as ObamaCare is concerned, I hope you are enjoying the fact that, pursuant to its provisions, the donut hole has now shrunk or has been eliminated for most seniors in donut hole range. And please take advantage of the no-deductible preventative care screenings. But remember that Mitt Romney and every single Republican in Congress has pledged to take away those benefits to you.

  41. Athos says:

    It’s all about the language, isn’t it, petey? Police, fire department, and military are also collectivist, if that definition is payment from the general fund (which is where the General Welfare Clause kicks in).

    But your heroes are BJ Clinton and John Edwards, aren’t they, petey? The fellows that argue over the meaning of the words “is” and “the”.

    And of course, you and your people have no interest is simple math. 30 years from now, it will be very interesting how my children view your shrinking doughnut hole in that bust-the-bank federal welfare program known as Medicare.

  42. Steve says:

    Nyp has selective reading skils. Nyp ignores anything I wtote about the states. Nyp wants one central government to control and provide everything.

  43. Nyp says:

    I do indeed admire Bill Clinton.
    John Edwards? Perhaps not so much.

  44. […] the most powerful man in the Senate also did not say is that Nevada, as in the past, gets a paltry 41 cents per acre while neighboring states get double and triple that amount. Nor […]

  45. […] the most powerful man in the Senate did not say is that, as in the past, Nevada gets a paltry 41 cents per acre while neighboring states get double and triple that […]

  46. […] Reid has long been known to Nevadans as a piker when it comes to bringing home the bacon — Nevada ranks next to last among the states in federal dollars received compared to be federal taxes paid, 65 cents on the […]

  47. […] every dollar Nevadans send to Washington, we get back 65 cents. That’s the second worst return among the states, though we have the supposedly most powerful senator. For whom is he wielding this […]

  48. […] every dollar Nevadans send to Washington, we get back 65 cents. That’s the second worst return among the states, though we have the supposedly most powerful senator. For whom is he wielding this […]

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